CCW in Florida?


USA Carry Supporter
Posting here because of more hits than the State thread. This is for FLORIDA.
"Prohibited Places With Concealed Permit":
In any portion of a restaurant, bar, nightclub, or other establishment licensed to serve alcohol for consumption on the premises in the portion of the premises that is primarily devoted to that purpose.
In other words, if you go into a restaurant, you can't go into the bar, you can't even walk through the bar--but you can sit at a dinner table, go to the other places within the establishment not within or through the bar area, and even order drinks with your meal, or just order drinks.
However, be warned, that in many of the reciprocal states you are prohibited from going in any establishment that serves alcohol, with a concealed weapon or firearm.
All the above was taken from the 6th Edition-2009 of Florida Firearms Law, Use & Ownership / Jon H. Gutmacher.
I'm leaving this Friday to FL. and I've been browsing through this book looking up CCW for places where you can and cannot carry when I came upon this section. Sorry, for asking the question, but, I really do not understand what it is saying. I'm not going out drinking all night first of all just so you know. I'm talking about, going out for a drink/s with the Wife. So, from what I understand is, We cannot go to a bar (well, carrying my gun on me); but if We go to a restaurant and eat/drink or just drink, I can? So I have to look for a restaraunt if we want a drink?

This is telling us that, in Florida, we can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Places like TGIFriday's, Outback, etc. If the restaurant has a clearly evident "bar" area, you must NOT sit at the bar. Go find a table or booth and enjoy.
Wolf, I've been aware of this law for quite some time, however don't know how comfortable I would feel actually carrying into a restaraunt that serves alcohol for consumpution, period. Don't know how "nice" LEO is in Ft. Walton, but I wouldn't chance it here in Bay County..
Even IF You are going in to eat and having say....two beers the most? You would feel that uncomfortable? But the law says I can do this, correct?
Even IF You are going in to eat and having say....two beers the most? You would feel that uncomfortable? But the law says I can do this, correct?

Yes, in Florida you can have drinks with your meal. The question of intoxication and firearms is the same as intoxication and driving, and the standard is the same. It really makes good sense if you think about it. In Florida just as you can drink and have your car keys you can drink and have your gun. You can drink as long as you do not discharge the firearm just as you can drink as long as you don't drive your car. Its the use not the possession that triggers the offense.

However, discharge the firearm and you are over 0.8 alcohol and you are in serious molasses --- but then if you discharge the weapon in most jurisdictions you are going to have a problem anyway, the alcohol just is just going to make it worse --- way worse.

There is an exception to the intoxication rule, and that is IF you fired in legitimate self-defense or defense of another person. Apparently if its self-defense you can be drunk as a skunk :)

IANAL so ...

(If you cross into Georgia however, don't drink with your gun on you, they don't think its funny.)
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It really is a very easy determination ... when you walk in the door see if anyone is smoking. If they allow smoking then you are in a bar, if they don't you are in a restaurant (we'll discuss the "bar portion" later). The requirement of a "stand alone bar" that makes its money from the strictly the sale of alcohol is the litmus test of the definition thanks to the restaurant smoking ban ... if smoking is banned, under Florida law it is restaurant and you have no worries, except for that bar area thing.

The bar area is determined by if there are walls. If the bar is in a separate room with walls, then don't sit in that room. If the bar is located in the main room, then just don't sit at the bar. Never sit at the bar when carrying.

There is always the big question about the rest rooms being off the bar area in the bar room so can you go to the john, the answer is YES, just don't stop by the bar as you are walking through and don't drink in that room. Walking to the restroom is not going to get you busted.

As to drinking while carrying ... best not to get too sloppy drunk but as previously noted, if you get looped, just don't touch your gun, if it is not "in your hand" under the law, you can be as drunk as you want with it in your holster.

Of course, it is all up to your actions anyway. In general Florida LEO's are pretty decent and won't screw with you but remember in Florida CONCEALED MEANS CONCEALED! Don't have your piece hanging out, or printing badly or you may get flack. Open carry is not allowed and flashing is highly frowned upon.

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